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Dear Burma Net Advisors:
I am very surprised to learn that the Burma Net is no longer a free ground
for all people interested in Burma. Please think about your decision to
impose censorship carefully.
In my past experience, I have been attacked on Burma Net. You did not
censor my attackers then, and your decision was right. I and other
readers were able to point out which facts were wrong and promote
discussion between the parties. It is especially important for Burmese
working towards democracy to practice free expression in this work.
In Burma, the military regieme censors all newspapers and media. They
cannot tolerate free speech; only those who blindly support them have a
voice. Surely those of us working to promote a democratic alternative
to the military junta should act differently. I do not think anyone should
censor Burma Net.
You have not defined your standards for censoring messages, as well. For
example, you never censor messages with rude and inappropriate
language used by someone to Okkar. But we never appreciated such a posting.
All postings should be posted. Readers will judge rude, cruel, and low
language on its merits. If you begin by censoring language, you will
continue by censoring ideas. For instance, if you decide that anti-NCGUB
postings are wrong, then you will censor them. This is no different than
the Burmese government censoring opinions it does not agree with.
In conclusion, truth is relative. The evil you know is better then the
evil you don't know. All postings should appear, and readers can discuss
and debate them in a free manner. This involves patience and maturity.
I hope that the Burma Net will change to an open discussion platform soon
that promotes free speech. In the meantime, will you inform me and the
public as to who the censors are, and what qualifications they hold?
Because my goal is to return to Burma as a journalist, critic, and
writer, I believe strongly in the value of free expression. I encourage
you to do so as well.
Htun Aung Gyaw